Following the outbreak of the monkey pox virus in Bayelsa State recently, other suspected cases have been reported in six more states in the country, bringing the total number of suspected cases so far to 31.
The states that have reported cases of the virus are Bayelsa, Rivers, Ekiti, Akwa Ibom, Lagos, Ogun and Cross River.
Making this known Monday, the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said samples had been collected from each of the suspected cases for laboratory confirmation and results were still being awaited.
According to the centre’s chief executive officer, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, no deaths had been recorded as a result of the virus, adding that it remained unlikely that many of the suspected cases were actually monkey pox.
What is Monkeypox:
Monkeypox is a rare viral zoonosis (a virus transmitted to humans from animals) with symptoms in humans similar to those seen in the past in smallpox patients, although less severe.
Smallpox was eradicated in 1980. However, monkeypox still occurs sporadically in some parts of Africa.
Monkeypox is a member of the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family Poxviridae.
The virus was first identified in the State Serum Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1958 during an investigation into a pox-like disease among monkeys
Here are the key facts of the disease according to the World Health Organization, WHO.
1. Monkeypox is a rare disease that occurs primarily in remote parts of Central and West Africa, near tropical rainforests.
2. The monkeypox virus can cause a fatal illness in humans and, although it is similar to human smallpox which has been eradicated, it is much milder
3. The monkeypox virus is transmitted to people from various wild animals but has limited secondary spread through human-to-human transmission
4. Typically, case fatality in monkeypox outbreaks has been between 1% and 10%, with most deaths occurring in younger age groups
5. There is no treatment or vaccine available although prior smallpox vaccination was highly effective in preventing monkeypox as well.
6. How It Can Be Contacted:
Transmission could be via contact with infected animals, humans, or contaminated materials.
“Animal-to-human transmission occurs through bites or a scratch from animals and bush meat preparation.
“It can also be transmitted from one person to another. Human-to-human transmission occurs through respiratory droplets, contact with infected persons or contaminated materials.
7. Control Measures include isolation of suspected or confirmed cases, strict adherence to universal precautions, especially frequent hand washing with soap and water, and use of personal protective equipment.
Credits: www.insideoyo.com additional report from the World Health Organization.